June 27, 2006

Bottom 5% of the Web 2.0

by Nick Montfort · , 2:33 am

Tim O’Reilly explains in this famous article (which, I swear, actually crashes Firefox on OS X) that “In our initial brainstorming, we formulated our sense of Web 2.0 by example:

Web 1.0   Web 2.0
DoubleClick –> Google AdSense
Ofoto –> Flickr
Akamai –> BitTorrent
mp3.com –> Napster
Britannica Online –> Wikipedia
personal websites –> blogging
evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation –> search engine optimization
page views –> cost per click
screen scraping –> web services
publishing –> participation
content management systems –> wikis
directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)
stickiness –> syndication”

Now, the article goes on, but let’s stop at this first brainstorm. I didn’t bring my brain anorak and I don’t want to get brain drenched.

Aren’t there newly-evolved forms of some of the other famous “Web 1.0″ ideas?

Yes.

Web 1.0   Web 2.0
under construction –> blog hiatus
dancing baby –> All Your Base Are Belong to Us
MUD addiction –> World of Warcraft addiction
animated GIF –> YouTube
The Starr Report –> Colbert roasts Bush
Pathfinder.com –> Go.com
Wired –> Google
Internet service provider –> telecommunications monopoly
Mr. T Ate My Balls –> Garfield without Text
Geocities –> MySpace
<blink> –> {text-decoration: blink}
Internet Oracle –> Ask Metafilter
PointCast –> RSS
soliciting minors for sex –> soliciting adults to slaughter and eat

6 Responses to “Bottom 5% of the Web 2.0”


  1. mark Says:

    I think some of the changes are overblown. “Blogging”, for example, has been around for about as long as the web has been around; it’s only the word “blog” that is relatively new. I remember reading Slashdot in 1996, and modern blogs have basically copied its format wholesale: reverse-chronological-order entries on a front page, extended bodies after you click, and a comments section. Slashdot even has threaded discussions, something most blog software still hasn’t implemented. Sure, more people have blogs now than did in 1996, but that’s partly simply due to more people being on the internet in the first place.

    I do think collaborative editing (e.g. Wikipedia) is one major innovation in how the internet is used.

    AJAX is quite possibly the worst part of “Web 2.0″, though. In principle, it’s a good idea: the network is the computer and all that; deploy applications using the web browser as the universal GUI. AJAX is really pretty horrible as far as an implementation, though. From the programmer’s perspective, writing an entire application in JavaScript is just about the worst things possible, and from the user’s perspective, you now need a 3 GHz machine and a gig of RAM just to run a simple application comparable to those that ran quickly 10 years ago. Hell I can’t even read dailykos.com anymore because their “improved” Javascript-heavy format lags my (not really that old) computer unbearably—and reading and posting comments to a text-based website is about the bare minimum you can imagine an application consisting of.

  2. B Rickman Says:

    Mark seems to have fallen for the notion that technological advance == progress.

  3. nick Says:

    While I won’t try to add explanatory links for all of my jokes, I guess I should mention, now that these things are 10 years old, that the title of my post here refers to this, which refers to this.

  4. michael Says:

    Came across this video, Web 2.0 – The Machine is Us/ing Us. Currently making the rounds in the blogosphere. Great animated text treatment of the wonders (yuck yuck) of the 2.0 vision. Beautiful to watch actually. Just shows what you can stumble across when looking for videos of cats flushing toilets (which also seem to be sweeping the electronic landscape – my wife and I have received two copies of a cat flushing a toilet video in the last few days).

  5. nick Says:

    Ah yes, I saw that via Jill’s blog a few days ago. I’ll have to get to work on finding the Web 1.0 animated gif that corresponds to that.

  6. Grand Text Auto » 10 Worst 10 Worst Lists of All Time Says:

    [...] the worst of all, the worst of all time. With that in mind, and in the spirit of looking into the bottom 5% of user-created content, Grand Text Auto presents you with this list of the 10 worst lists of 10 [...]

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